When I picked up FEROCITY SUMMER by Alissa Grosso, I was not expecting such a twisty, turny action-packed book. I knew that the book dealt with a few unsavory things that are all too real to many teens: a rough home life, a best friend with an alcohol problem, the huge divide between working and upper class, and drugs. Specifically the fictional-but-could-be-ripped-from-the-headlines drug called Ferocity.
So as not to spoil you, I’m going to give you a wee list of fun other things that make what could have been a simple issues book into a pseudo heist thriller:
1. The BFF’s older brother who may or may not be the main character, Scilla’s, honey. Sometimes.
2. Said older brother may or may not be involved in some illegal dealings with illegal substances.
3. Someone has been going town to town robbing convenience stores.
4. Road trip.
5. An FBI agent with horrible fashion sense.
6. That older brother’s ex-college-room mate who knows things. And hates the government. But likes Scilla.
7. And then there’s that whole Scilla and her BFF might have killed someone by accident thing.
So that’s the deal. And it’s all told in tight, unflinching prose that made the book not only compulsively readable and emotionally gripping, but also a literary delight. FEROCITY SUMMER takes teen issues and ups the stakes. Sort of like Laurie Halse Anderson’s WINTER GIRLS meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, minus the supernatural. And the scariest part? It could probably happen in your town.